Opposition to Queensland’s tough new anti-bikie laws is mounting with the country’s peak motorcycling body set to open a national fighting fund.
The Australian Motorcycle Council will open a fighting fund on Monday to raise money for any High Court challenge to the laws enacted in Queensland Parliament last week.
It comes after a 25-year-old Gold Coast man, allegedly a member of a Hells Angels ‘‘feeder gang’’ called the Red Devils, was arrested at the weekend and charged with drug possession.
Under the Newman government’s anti-bikie laws, which set mandatory jail sentences for outlaw gang members, the 25-year-old man could be imprisoned for more than 15 years if convicted of the minor drugs charges.
His Brisbane solicitor Ashkan Tai, of high-profile criminal law firm Ryan & Bosscher Lawyers, said he would seek bail on behalf of his client in the Supreme Court in the coming weeks.
Mr Tai said his client happened to live in a share house raided by police on Friday night and denied having any links to bikies.
AMC chairman Shaun Lennard will reveal further details about the fighting fund at a press conference outside Richardsons Harley-Davidson in Hobart on Monday.
‘‘In short, we believe these laws are in fact partly intended as an attack on motorcycling as a pastime, despite comments to the contrary from the Queensland government,’’ Mr Lennard said.
‘‘The AMC is a volunteer-run organisation with limited resources and this decision has not been taken lightly.
‘‘However, as the peak rider organisation in the country, we have decided to establish this account in response to numerous requests for a place to donate funds.’’
Mr Lennard conceded the fund could be used to support a criminal member of an outlaw motorcycle gang - the AMC has been associated with the United Motorcycle Council, which comprises representatives from each outlaw bikie gang across Australia, for the past two years.
‘‘From a motorcycling perspective, if someone has been convicted of a crime and they have been dealt with under the law they should be free to go about their business in society ...
‘‘If they want to ride a motorcycle they should be allowed to do that without being followed, harassed, or pulled-up everyday.
‘‘This is at the heart of it - it seems the Queensland government has got it in for motorcycling in general.’’
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie has been at pains to stress that average Queenslanders would not be affected by the anti-bikie laws, but has admitted there would be some inconvenience to recreational motorcyclists.
“There will be some disruption to law-abiding motorcycle riders but we want to avoid the disruption the best we can,” Mr Bleijie said.
“Police have a job to do.”